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Liberals and conservatives proclaim the end of the American holiday from history. Now the easy games are over; one should take sides. iek argues this is precisely the temptation to be resisted. In such moments of apparently clear choices, the real alternatives are most hidden. Welcome to the Desert of the Real steps back, complicating the choices imposed on us. It proposes that global capitalism is fundamentalist and that America was complicit in the rise of Muslim fundamentalism. It points to our dreaming about the catastrophe in numerous disaster movies before it happened, and explores the irony that the tragedy has been used to legitimize torture. Last but not least it analyzes the fiasco of the predominant leftist response to the events.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
Published: Random House Publishing Group on
ISBN: 9781781680315
List price: $9.99
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Purporting to be an analysis of the 9/11 attacks, and the motivations behind them, this book wanders all over the place, and is so abstruse and inaccessible it isn't really worth the time; after all, there are many better books written on the topic, and I was unable to see that the author actually added anything new to the subject.more
Slavoj Zizek is one of Europe's leading intellectuals and social theorists. In this book he doesn't seem to emulate those credentials. Perhaps it is his writing style, a vast sea of ever changing subjects and thoughts tied together by a vague theme. However his positions on "terrorism" and "liberal democracy" are spot on. In this book he seemed to utilize "Hegelian" reversals quite a bit, as well as revealing the psychological undertones of political events and players making the book a fascinating read.more
The thing you notice quickly: how often the bastard contradicts himself. At first I wanted to say that he was inconsistent, but then it became clear that it was a bigger part of his mission. And, indeed, his first wish is to problematize the simple choices we have been given. Honestly, too, few are better positioned to do so. As a Slovene, as someone who cut his teeth on Soviet intellectualism then found himself suddenly a part of the Captalist West, Zizek has the perspective and authority to denounce both the Left and the Right in their responses to 9/11.The book is much larger than this, however, and throughout I think Zizek takes up the mantle of exposing the dangers of simplicity. He jumps in topic, he starts with one belief, stated resolutely, then swings to examples that seem to voice the exact opposite, yet every perspective is clearly fit together by his thoughts. In other words, as a bit of a political Tiresias, Zizek delivers a message to us stuck in our simpler ideological bodies: simplicity is part of the problem.more
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Reviews

Purporting to be an analysis of the 9/11 attacks, and the motivations behind them, this book wanders all over the place, and is so abstruse and inaccessible it isn't really worth the time; after all, there are many better books written on the topic, and I was unable to see that the author actually added anything new to the subject.more
Slavoj Zizek is one of Europe's leading intellectuals and social theorists. In this book he doesn't seem to emulate those credentials. Perhaps it is his writing style, a vast sea of ever changing subjects and thoughts tied together by a vague theme. However his positions on "terrorism" and "liberal democracy" are spot on. In this book he seemed to utilize "Hegelian" reversals quite a bit, as well as revealing the psychological undertones of political events and players making the book a fascinating read.more
The thing you notice quickly: how often the bastard contradicts himself. At first I wanted to say that he was inconsistent, but then it became clear that it was a bigger part of his mission. And, indeed, his first wish is to problematize the simple choices we have been given. Honestly, too, few are better positioned to do so. As a Slovene, as someone who cut his teeth on Soviet intellectualism then found himself suddenly a part of the Captalist West, Zizek has the perspective and authority to denounce both the Left and the Right in their responses to 9/11.The book is much larger than this, however, and throughout I think Zizek takes up the mantle of exposing the dangers of simplicity. He jumps in topic, he starts with one belief, stated resolutely, then swings to examples that seem to voice the exact opposite, yet every perspective is clearly fit together by his thoughts. In other words, as a bit of a political Tiresias, Zizek delivers a message to us stuck in our simpler ideological bodies: simplicity is part of the problem.more
Zizek is a wacky, and occasionally brilliant, critic. His essays here range from over-the-top Lacanian analysis to some fairly perceptive (or "perspicuous", his favorite compliment) insights into the way the U.S. in navigating the shoals of terror. The book is also a bit dated now, since it seems to have been written mostly between 9/11 and its publication date in 2002. Overall definitely worth reading, however.more
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